In Memoriam: Erik Lyager

Car bike crash photoYesterday at 2 AM, a cyclist was killed in Washington County. The cyclist had fallen and was then hit by a car.

Sadly, I haven’t been able to find out any more information about Erik Lyager. This is a strange case. Our thoughts are with the Lyager family and friends.

KATU notes that two other bicyclists were apparently trying to keep traffic away from the victim before he was hit. What happened? And why did they leave the scene?

Furthermore, why did the cyclist fall? Gravel or poorly maintained roads? Or was it simply a fall?

KGW notes that speed limits in the area are 45 MPH, and there it’s not a lit area. Was the driver speeding? How did the other cyclists not manage to divert traffic from the fallen Lyager?

I’ve left messages with the Washington County Sheriff’s Department, which released this report:

June 11: A bicyclist was killed this morning after being struck by a vehicle while he was lying in the roadway. The incident occurred on NW 185th Avenue at about 2:00AM.

Washington County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to NW 185th Avenue just south of NW West Union Road. When they arrived they found a white male on the ground with two people administering CPR. The bicyclist has been identified as Erik Lyager, 56, his next of kin have been notified. Mr. Lyager was struck by a vehicle traveling north on NW 185th Avenue. He was taken by Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) responded to take over the investigation. They closed NW 185th Avenue for several hours during their investigation. The preliminary results of the investigation show Mr. Lyager crashed his bike prior to being struck by the car. Skid marks on the roadway, and in the gravel on the side of the road, indicate that Mr. Lyager was traveling north when he lost control of his bicycle, crashed, and came to rest in the middle of the roadway. It is unknown at this time, what made Mr. Lyager loose control of his bicycle. It is also unknown how long Mr. Langer was laying in the roadway prior to being struck by the vehicle. He was not wearing a helmet.

Mr. Lyager was struck by a ’01 Pontiac Sunbird. There was no indication the driver had consumed any intoxicates, was driving recklessly, or any other evidence that would indicate the driver was at fault. The driver was not cited.

There were reports that two bicyclists initially stopped and rendered aid to Mr. Lyager after the incident. These two witnesses were gone when deputies arrived. Investigators would like to speak to these witnesses to complete the investigation. If you witnessed this crash, please call the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503-846-2700.

Comment

Comments (9)

  1. Ethan Permalink  | Jul 14, 2006 01:15pm

    I wonder if this Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) has members with the same kind of bicycle/pedestrian accident training that some PPD officers have received.

  2. Joan Ayala Permalink  | Aug 01, 2006 09:51pm

    Erik Lyager was a most remarkable man. He rode his bike everywhere in all weather conditions and at all times of the night. He once rode from Murray Road at Highway 26 to my house near Lloyd Center in 16 minutes. When he arrived he wasn’t even breathing hard.
    In all the years that he had been riding, I knew of only one crash. Some weeks before he died, he collided with a car that did not see him. The car did not stop. Erik escaped with sore muscles, scrapes and bruises but thankfully nothing more serious.
    Erik was dearly loved by many. He was brilliant, capable, wise, and sometimes infuriating. He especially loved intelligent, strong women. When asked why I loved Erik so absolutely, I have always answered that he was one of the only men I have ever met that spent time watching me, listening to me and giving me his full attention. Then, as he learned what my deepest needs were, he set about providing them if he could, giving advice on how to set myself in a position to give them to myself, and if nothing else, let me know that he KNEW me BECAUSE he cared.
    He did this to all of the women he knew, or at least the ones I have met and talked to. It was easy to miss this gift of his… He showed interest so discreetly and quietly that it almost went unnoticed, only to come out to us as an amazing gift of insight and admiration.
    To each woman a different gift. To me, it was an intense love of learning. We played dueling dictionaries with a set of 1934 New Century dictionaries, each volume several inches thick. We wrote crossword puzzles for each other in Latin, Swedish, Spanish and English. The challenge was not only in creating the puzzles (we each were fluent in only 2 of the 4 languages) but in solving them. He “made love” to my mind, which was the greatest of pleasures.
    Of the other women I have talked to, one said he took her shopping, showing her how to dress to acentuate her best features, then laid out an outfit for her everyday until her self esteem was raised. Another was overwhelmed with her special needs children. He took them out on nature walks, taught them to listen and taught her to speak to them with conviction, and he stayed long enough to help reinforce the new family dynamic.
    He was simply the most remarkable man I have ever known. I can’t speak for the other women in his life, but I loved Erik Lyager with all my heart and as I learned of each of the others, I felt only empathy for their sadness and joy that he was loved by them.
    At his memorial, his ex-wife (and probably his only “true love”), myself and the woman he currently lived with sat together holding hands and supporting one another as each person got up to speak about Erik. The sadness was so deep it was almost ineffable and when the tears did come they hurt, physically hurt. We held each other throughout the day.
    I don’t know if I will see the women again, but I will never forget them. Erik was not perfect, in fact, he often drove me nuts, causing me to “send him packing” at some point in his visits. I have re-visited those times and regretted my inability to remain flexible and patient. But, only a few could ever remain constantly at peace with all Erik was and all he did.
    Regardless, I pray from the deepest part of my spirit that he knew he was loved. I hope beyond hope that he saw the three of us together at his memorial, united in the incredible experience of knowing him.

  3. Kathy Belland Permalink  | Aug 28, 2006 06:42am

    I have not seen Erik in 15 years yet the memories are as fresh as if it were 15 mintues.
    I will treasure the 7 years we were together. We packed in so much life in such a short time.
    Erik had such a magical outlook in life and a endearing free spirit.
    Loss of such a fun, energetic, talented father, friend, ex-husband and to all who knew him is tremendously difficult to bear.
    Mine and my family’s thoughts and prayers are with you.
    Love to you always Tiffany and Rachel.

  4. dwayne fobes Permalink  | Jan 13, 2007 12:21am

    I am sending my regrets to whoever knew erik. He was friends with my wife and I and we happened to travel with his wife at the time to Belize many years ago…I wish that I would have kept in touch with him before his untimely demise and I will miss him. My regards go out to susan and tiffany and rachael. Jan, 13, 2007.

  5. Jason Scott Permalink  | May 07, 2007 08:46pm

    I love the little time I spent with him he was a very good man

  6. jason jacoby Permalink  | May 07, 2007 09:40pm

    Ed: Inappropriate comment deleted.

  7. Kody Permalink  | May 08, 2007 04:29pm

    rest in peace old man

  8. Suesan Hash (Spillers) Permalink  | May 23, 2007 02:43pm

    Among many things, I most miss his way of telling a story (a long story short)

    I am now and will always be your… “healthy one”

  9. jason rangel Permalink  | Jun 17, 2007 11:10am

    i was in love with your daughter. you were a good friend during that time. im shocked to see you are gone. this isnt what i expected when i typed tiffany’s name on google. hopefully your wayward daughters will be able to rise from this and become better women. by now suesan is free(as she so deserves to be) and you too old man are free from the chains that bound you to this cruel world fly with the angels my friend.

    tiffany im sorry about your dad have comfort in the fact that he suffers no more. i pray you rise up from this and become the woman/mother you are supposed to be. you shredded my heart and i will never be the same. although i will never be able to trully trust or love again all is forgiven and i wish only the best for you and your family.


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